For you dedicated and hardy souls who like to ride all year round, we’ve come up with some essential safety tips and checks for riding through the treacherous British winters.
1. Signals and Lights!
Sure, it’s a basic one, but so many people forget to check their lights are working correctly before they set off. Especially if you’re going on a long ride, make sure all your signals and lights are working properly.
2. Battery Check!
The bitter cold and ice can take a toll on your battery. If you’re storing your bike outside, or in an uninsulated garage for long periods of time, it’s a good idea to have an overnight charge before your next long journey.
This is a biggie. For the winter months you want to make sure your tread depth is at least 2mm. Remember to check regularly in these icy months, especially if you’re a frequent rider.
4. Appropriate Clothing!
Obviously you’re not going to get on your bike in your summer gear, but riding against the icy winds can applify the cold. Make sure you’re wearing winter gear and that no skin is exposed. We’re thinking snoods, riding gloves, and thermals under your leathers.
5. Take it slow!
We don’t want to sound like your mother, but it really is important to take it easy on the wintery roads. Remember that pot holes are more likely to pop up at the time of the year, and that grit and salt on the roads can be dangerous for bikers, as well as possibly damaging your bike (remember to clean and oil your bike often to prevent damage).
This is the worst time of year for visibility on the roads and, as we know, other road users often don’t take the time to look for us bikers anyway! So, if you can, make it a little harder for those road users to miss you with a hi-vis jacket or even just some hi-vid wristbands. It’s also a good idea to use some anti-misting spray on your signals, lights, and mirrors to make sure they can be seen.
Remember to respect the winter weather and don’t take any chances against it. If it’s absolutely necessary to ride in extremely bad weather then follow the above advice, use your good judgement, and ride safe!